On-screen, Beth Phoenix and The Miz are bitter rivals heading for a mix tag team showdown at WWE Royal Rumble.
Off-screen, Phoenix has plenty of respect for The Miz and how he's overcome a rough start to his WWE career to become one of the most decorated WWE superstars in history.
“I’ve known Mike [Miz] since his first day stepping in the ring, and Maryse, too. The wrestling business – especially a couple of decades ago – we were a very close, tight-knit group and paying your dues was important. Here you had someone coming in with fame and in the beginning, people were hesitant: ‘are you just seeking more fame, how much do you love this?’ Unfortunately, that put Mike on a path to be swimming upstream because, really, nothing could be further from the truth. I have such admiration for him. To have the thick skin to spend all these years not getting the approval that you deserve and portrayed as a heel all these years – that is tough. It’s not easy to go out there and have people screaming at you that you suck every single day," Beth told Matty Paddock of The Daily Star.
She continued by saying, "Mike knows that that’s his role, and what he’s great at is that he provokes emotion in people and that is a talent that not many people have. I have admiration for his longevity and for how hard he’s worked – he is one of the hardest working, consistent and durable performers we’ve ever had in WWE. We don’t talk about it much, but he’s also one of the most decorated performers we’ve ever had in WWE. As a heel, he doesn’t need the pat on the back to know he’s awesome, no pun intended. Mike is confident in himself and that is really special amongst performers. It’s really admirable.”
Beth will team with her husband Edge to take on The Miz and his wife Maryse at WWE Royal Rumble.
On the final Raw before WWE Royal Rumble, Miz is set to throw Maryse a birthday bash. You can view the current lineup for WWE Raw by clicking here.
Fightful will have live coverage of WWE Raw beginning at 8 p.m. ET on Monday.